A collection of NOTABLE happenings

Only In (Bemidji) MN

Lake Bemidji selected for the prestigious Bassmaster National College Championship
Check Leaderboard Standings Here

The best college anglers from across the country will compete on Minnesota’s famed Lake Bemidji out of Bemidji, Minnesota, for the 2017 Carhartt Bassmaster College Series National Championship presented by Bass Pro Shops. The event, held August 10-12th, is hosted by Bemidji State University (BSU) and Visit Bemidji.

“Visit Bemidji is excited to partner with B.A.S.S. and BSU in development of the 2017 Bassmaster College Series National Championship,” said Susan Goudge, executive director for Visit Bemidji. “The event will be second-to-none with our university campus being located on the shores of beautiful Lake Bemidji.”

Goudge said the scenic lakes and local amenities provide an ideal venue for the nation’s top college anglers.

“Lake Bemidji and area lakes are naturally connected to multiple waterways that include the Mississippi River,” she said. “Bemidji, First City on the Mississippi, looks forward to welcoming the fishing teams, families and B.A.S.S. staff to our beautiful community. And, we’d like to wish the best of luck to all the young anglers.”

“Bemidji State University is proud to join with regional and industry partners as host of this high-caliber competition,” said Mike Mulry, director of engagement marketing at BSU. “We will seize the opportunity to showcase our lakeside campus as an ideal destination for competitive fishermen and all students who love the outdoors.”

Two Bemidji State Fishing Teams to Compete in the National Championship
Bemidji State University students Luke Gillund and Robby Troje will join fellow BSU fishing duo of Thor and Luke Swanson, to complete at this national championship event. During the Bassmaster tournaments, each two-person team tries to catch the heaviest five-bass limits on each day of the competition.

To qualify for the national championship, College anglers compete in one of five regionals, and in a Wild Card qualifier for a second chance to reach the championship. After three days of championship competition in Minnesota, the best team will be crowned College Series national champions.

From there, the Top 4 teams will advance to the College Bracket, at a location to be later announced, Aug. 14-16. At that point, individual anglers will then vie for a single berth to the 2018 GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods.

Follow the personal stories from the contestants in the Carhartt Bassmaster College Championship Tournament.
Watch the video on the 2017 Road to the Bassmasters College Championship that brought them to Lake Bemidji.
Keep up-to-date with the Bassmaster Tournament Championship Weigh-in, beginning each day at 3:30 pm ET.

Taken from Bassmater May 2017 press release, www.Bassmaster.com

Bemidji’s Largest Legend
Featured at the World’s Largest Air Show!

In attendance at the 2017 EAA AirVenture Show was the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT), sharing what makes Minnesota destinations unique, and why Minnesota is a great state of aviation. The ambassador MNDOT chose for communicating its message was none other than Bemidji’s beloved hometown heros, Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox! Guests attending the show were offered the opportunity to have their photo taken “flying” with Bemidji’s own Paul and Babe in MnDOT’s photo booth!

EAA AirVenture Oshkosh is an annual gathering of aviation enthusiasts held each summer at Wittman Regional Airport in Wisconsin. The event is the largest of its kind in the world held each July, attracting more than 500,000 people from five continents and 10,000 airplanes.

Photo: Jim Koepnick

Minnesota’s premier writers conference returns to Bemidji!

For the 15th year, writers from all over the United States will be gathering in the intimate, lakeside town of Bemidji to meet with award-winning authors and accomplished teachers to practice the arts of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction writing. A week-long event, the Northwoods Writer’s Conference, distinguished as the “jewel in the crown on Minnesota’s literary tradition,” will be held June 19th to the 25th, hosted by Bemidji State University (BSU).

“Our goal,” explained Conference Director Sean Hill, “is to create a very intimate setting for people to focus on creative writing, the craft of writing.” This goal has been more than achieved, with past participant comments on the Bemidji conference that include…“One of the best, if not the best conferences I’ve attended. Lots of honesty, absence of arrogance, and genuinely helpful people.” And another that wrote, “I love this place. I’m impressed with the emphasis on the arts here & the beautiful lake setting – inspiring in itself. A fabulous discovery.”

Conference faculty member Joni Tevis identified reasons why the Bemijdi conference is so popular. “The level of interaction between participants and each other, between participants and different workshops and each other, participants and faculty, and participants and staff, is really something that makes this special. You can go to a conference and not feel welcomed…here…I always feel welcomed!”

Scheduled activities for participants throughout the week include daily craft and editor talks, manuscript consultations, publisher panels and more. There is a nightly reading series that is open to the public. These readings will take place at 7:30 PM in the Gathering Room of the American Indian Resource Center at BSU. A reception and book signing is to follow each reading, with books also available for sale.

2017 Workshop Faculty members will include:

  • Elizabeth Bradfield (Poetry). Founded Broadsided Press. Teaches creative writing at Brandeis University and in the University of Alaska.
  • Janice Harrington (Poetry). Harrington’s poetry appears regularly in American literary magazines. Teaches in the creative writing program at the University of Illinois.
  • Ravi Howard (Fiction). Author of two books of fiction. Professor of creative writing at Florida State University.
  • Ander Monson (Creative Nonfiction )Author of six books of nonfiction, fiction, and poetry. Directs the MFA Program in Creative Writing at the University of Arizona.
  • The Distinguished Visiting Writer for this year’s conference is Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Tracy K. Smith. Author of the critically acclaimed memoir Ordinary Light (Knopf, 2015), Smith was a finalist for the 2015 National Book Award in Nonfiction, selected as a Notable Book by the New York Times and Washington Post, as well as author of three books of poetry. Her most recent collection of poems, Life on Mars (Graywolf, 2011), won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize and was selected as a New York Times Notable Book. Describing her writing style, Minneapolis Star Tribune had this to say…“Smith’s spare yet beautiful prose transforms her story into a shining example of how one person’s shared memories can brighten everyone’s world.”

For more information and a complete schedule of evening readings, click here.

Bemidji honored with not only two lakes chosen, but also selected as the very first!

Nationally renowned, Minneapolis based artist Mark Herman was commissioned to create Sun Country’s Hometown Lakes Project, a series of custom lake-themed illustrations for the company’s aircraft fleet. For inspiration, Herman embarked with his dad on a trip across Minnesota to scout out lakes and landmarks that captured the project’s spirit. His exploration resulted in two waterways for Bemidji being selected! Bemidji was honored as being the very first aircraft released, paying tribute to Lake Bemidji with an iconic rendition of Paul and Babe the Blue Ox standing tall over the Bemidji downtown.

Herman’s artistic vision, when translated to an aircraft, features the Lake Bemidji name on the exterior of the aircraft, under either side of the cockpit, as well as outside the front boarding door. Inside the aircraft, images of Paul Bunyan and Babe enhance the decor.

Lake Irving is the second Bemidji waterway chosen for the Hometown Lakes program. This aircraft design features Minnesota’s state bird, the common loon, on its’ nest, overlooking the serene, idyllic Lake Irving. The Lake Irving aircraft, as well as the 23 others in this series, are scheduled to be unveiled as completed.

Herman’s Lake Bemidji and Lake Irving art is currently available for purchase as part of a set of stationery note cards and playing cards at the Sun Country Store at www.suncountry.com. To follow the project on social media, use #HometownLakesProject.

April 2017 Images from Sun Country Airlines and Nate Matthews

Bemidji Regional Airport chosen as fourth stop
in the country’s only women’s air race!

The 41st annual Air Race Classic (ARC), an all-women, transcontinental airplane race, has chosen the Bemidji Regional Airport as Stop Four in their 2017 race route, taking fliers from Frederick MD to Santa Fe NM. This year’s race route was chosen to challenge the racers, providing a variety of learning opportunities, yet still accommodate the endurance range of slower aircrafts.

Tracing its roots to the 1929 Women’s Air Derby, the ARC is the epicenter of women’s air racing. An ultimate test of piloting skill and aviation decision-making, ARC female pilots range in age from 17 to 90 years old and come from all walks of life.

This year’s race has pilots fly 2,600+ miles over four days, experiencing changes in terrain, weather, winds, and airspace. The Air Race Classic follows a different route every year, with typically 10 predefined airports that the race team must fly to along the way. Landing at each airport is optional depending on the decisions of the race team. However, each team must be on the ground at a designated race stop prior to sunset. There is no requirement to fly the race in four days. The race can be flown in one day or up to four days, depending on strategy, weather, and airplane endurance. Because the ARC is a handicap race, teams are racing against their own best time, not against one another, which allows slower planes to compete against faster aircraft on an equal basis.

At each designated stop, volunteers help the racers with water, food, fuel, transportation – whatever they need. All airplane enthusiasts are invited to the Bemidji Airport to watch racers fly the timing line, and maybe meet them on the ground. You can also follow the racers online as they make their way along the race course at http://www.airraceclassic.org.

June 2017 Photos courtesy of The Air Race Classic, Inc.  All rights reserved. www.airraceclassic.org.

Lion’s Club chooses Bemidji’s Convention Center
to commemorate 100 years of community service!

Lions from all over Minnesota, Manitoba and northwest Ontario made their way to Bemidji late April for the 2017
MD5M Lions of the North for the Next 100 convention. The last time the Lion’s selected Bemidji to host their convention
was in 1941. Since that date, while the Lions Club’s has had remarkable growth, it is only rivaled by the growth of
the Bemidji community and it’s facilities to accommodate such an event!

“We have the facility and the hotels, so we can then have this big of a gathering this time,” explained Wayne Tieman, Second Vice District Governor of District 5M10. With the convention and lodging facilities Bemidji now offers, Bemidji is the premier choice for gatherings in northern Minnesota. But beyond facilities, it is the heart and spirit of the community that Bemidji offers group gatherings that make it successful. “We have a lot of good support,” stated Tieman, noting that at least 50 people in the area came together to help organize the event.

The flexible space of Bemidji’s Convention Center was cited as one of the key draws for the near 600 members attending the Lion’s three-day gathering. Working with the Lions, Convention Center staff was able to set up just the right combinations to accommodate the various seminars, different meeting needs, and to make the Lions “big event,” the Governor’s Banquet, special, comfortable and memorable.

To learn more about why Bemidji should host your next meeting, gathering, conference or sports event in, click here or simply call us at 877-250-5959.

June 2017